Small, frequent, reversible changes.
Each one of these things is really important. The WP/DoK change, regardless of negative sentiment is actually quite small, one ability nerfed, one slightly buffed. Sure it has a large effect in the scheme of things, but it never should have been at that point. Just like BW/Sorc has been nerfed over the years repeatedly to bring them in line with other DPS classes. It’s necessary to balance, always. I think it would make sense to package this change with some reversability so if it were to implode and do something unexpected, it could be taken out just as quickly. Frequent changes should really occur on some small level once a week (with server maintenance along with hotfixes) with a fair amount of ear given to player feedback.
Sanity with in-game feedback.
Of course, not all feedback is going to matter as a class that gets nerfed will almost always be against it. Yes, again, speaking about the DoK/WP backlash which is getting the treatment it deserves. Sanity is important when taking and listening to feedback. You know what you’re aiming to do before a change is made, the feedback should be whether or not you achieved this goal from the viewpoint of the players. This is something that I actually feel is well done at the moment, being able to hash through the garbage feedback to get to the good stuff. I just think sometimes it’s taken out of context as to what the real issue is. Matchmaking is a good one, people don’t need an invisible system that does nothing to alleviate WHY they’re still fighting RR80 premades. They need a visible one, so they know when they get the 5th win in a row, they can expect a tougher battle over the horizon. Sorry guys, but you missed HARD on that “feature”. I’ve had to cut a handful of posts short that were nothing but pissy angry rants about “Matchmaking”.
You like metrics Mythic, you told us so.
Collect metrics from the account that is filling out the feedback like /played time, recent classes played, guild/solo preference, so they can filter and sort through these to get a feel for what kind of player is giving feedback. Do they run scenarios primarily? RvR? Do they play more PvE than normal? Are they frequently in groups? Solo? Guilded? Every aspect here will give a different variation on the playstyle they are giving feedback for. A solo DoK in T3 is going to have a hugely different opinion on these nerfs than a RR65 group DoK player. There’s still quite a few thousand players in and out of all these servers on a regular basis. I’m sure you’ll be able to drop different opinions based on classes to better get a feel for the general direction of the game. You know, from your investors perspective (being the players). It’s one thing to get bloggers out to Mythic HQ for interviews, it’s quite another story to directly engage players that might not even realize you were looking for feedback at all.
Stop holding the cards so close.
Look, no one cares anymore. You’re not keeping secrets, you’re just holding it over our heads like bullies on a playground. Then when we finally get a peek, its swiftly followed by a kick in the groin. Of course, I’m talking about the ever elusive Mythic content. You’re really not that big of a deal in the MMO-verse, you can be a little bit more transparent about what you’ve got planned for the future. It’s not like everyone hasn’t picked the corpse clean of unique ideas. PQ’s are in every new MMO on the horizon, collision detection is making it’s way into new games, the ToK is nothing more than an underwheming achievement tick box. We need things to look forward to, and the lead up to 1.4 was soul crushing in so many ways it’s really not feasible how you could better orchestrated it, short of cancelling 1.4
I guess If you need a model to follow, take a look at CCP and EVE online. There you can see the future and regular dev blogs about shit they’re trying to get done. What if all 9 of your devs (or whatever number is still kicking around) kept a public work blog of shit they’re getting done once a week? Maybe even once a month and two dev blogs are released per week (the 9th guy gets a bye for the month or whatever). There’s a need for a constant steady stream of SOMETHING even if it isn’t new releases, just progress reports on things that you’re working on. Hell, a list of things that you’re working on might be a start. Please, get away from the Dev Discussion forum threads. They’re far too infrequent, and usually just result in a lot of arguing and moderation anyways.
That’ll do for my 2 cents this week I suppose.